Judge Gordon Sullivan's into podcasting, too, but throwing those edamame pods around gets old eventually.
In the words of Jason Mewes, "LET US F@CK!"
After a tumultuous twenty years in filmmaking that saw him climb from much-loved indie darling (Clerks) to shouts of "sellout" (Cop Out), Kevin Smith largely pledged to stop making movies. He is far from the first director to claim such a retreat from behind the camera. However, unlike most directors, who give up filmmaking to "paint" or some other, ill-defined goal, we can be pretty sure that Smith will keep his promise (barring the few projects he currently has in the pipeline). That's because he's become addicted to a different medium, one that he has wholeheartedly embraced and which has embraced him in return: podcasting. With no suits holding the purse strings, Smith has created a podcasting empire, running a number of shows himself and giving others to his friends. The result is that he gets to be as creative as he wants and never has to deal with the hassles of moviemaking. He just needs a mic and an internet connection. So successful has this strategy been that he's taken it out on the road, and Jay and Silent Bob Get Old: The Swearing of the Green documents three shows the duo performed in 2012.
It's ironic that Kevin Smith has grown addicted to podcasting, because one of his most popular podcasts, Jay and Silent Bob Get Old exists to help his longtime friend Jason Mewes combat his own addictions. One of the most important things that addicts need is accountability, and with this podcast Jason Mewes has not only his friend/co-host to help him, but thousands and thousands of listeners. It's so popular the pair take their act on tour, even internationally. The three shows here follow the standard Jay and Silent Bob Get Old formula: an hour of talk plus an hour of audience interaction with a game called "Let us F*&k" that requires Jay and an audience member to act out a ridiculous-sounding sex act for the audience's delight.
Kevin Smith products are notoriously hard to review. He's someone who unabashedly makes art for the fans, and largely for the fans alone. It's a niche market, but Smith is at peace both with his fans and his work. Maybe it's all the weed he's been smoking the past few years, but he unashamedly gets up in front of strangers and tells most of the intimate details of his life in often gut-busting ways. It's a medium that works well for his storytelling chops and his penchant for hilarious details.
Smith alone is not the sole attraction here. Though I think he's funny by himself, he's aided here by his partner-in-crime Jason Mewes. It's no secret that Mewes has been a mess much of his life, but I am continually amazed at how unembarrassed he is about his past. He's not particularly proud of many of his accomplishments (which included a 1200mg/day Oxy habit, or something like fifty times a normal dose), but he's not ashamed of who he is and where he's been. Audiences get the benefits of his antics, as he tells stories of his past in (sometimes graphic) detail, and many of them demonstrate how naïve he really is (even without the drugs).
I'm definitely a Smith fan, although I enjoy some of his other podcasts more (SModcast and Fatman on Batman especially), I think this is a weird artifact. Much like the Jay and Silent Bob Get Old: Tea Bagging in the UK DVD, this set includes a trio of shows (two from Dublin, one from Vegas) where the pair sit and chat. Sometimes there are SMODimations that animate their stories, and both the Dublin shows begin with some footage of Mewes traveling around. That's pretty much it for visually interesting material, aside from Mewes interacting with the audience towards the end. I can see the value of going to see the pair live, but a video performance just doesn't add much. Hardcore fans will, of course, want to own this set, but casual fans will probably be just as well off listening to the (free!) podcasts.
The DVD set itself is great. The two Dublin shows get their own disc. The show is set on a relatively dark stage, so there isn't a lot for the transfer to handle. All three shows look like contemporary video productions, with decent colors, okay black levels, and fine detail. The barebones stereo audio keeps the pair perfectly audible throughout the shows, and closed captions are provided as well. Disc Two includes a bonus show from Vegas as well as 10 additional minutes of Jay participating in "Let us F*&k."
Hardcore Smith fans can buy with confidence; this is a decent trio of shows from the "stoner icons." Casual fans should probably try to borrow or rent the disc, especially if they haven't been keeping up with the podcast version of Get Old. Those who haven't followed Smith's recent trajectory would be better off dipping their toes in the podcast waters before picking up this set.
For Smith diehards, this set is not guilty.
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Scales of Justice
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